Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Lack of Ethics Abound

Affluenza, Little Rhody-style

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

No shit, Sherlock, er, F. Scott. Unfortunately that doesn’t pertain to the crassest behavior exhibited at times by the Great Unwashed, as the sexual rape and molestation scandal at the (once-) prestigious St. George’s School in Middletown is revealing. The people who run the school seem quite able to descend to the vilest activities possible, one level of hell that isn’t governed by bank account size or social pedigree.

This prep school, predominantly for the wealthy (at $56,000 thou a year tuition for high schoolers, we hope we don’t find an argument), has been exposed as covering up or smothering complaints about decades of molestation and/or rape of students.  Some of the actions, or inactions, of the school’s administration may well be criminal (e.g., not immediately reporting accusations of rape to the authorities), but all of it is detestable.

The administration at St. Groper’s is handling this exhumation of crimes committed by essentially everyone in power at the school since the 1970s with all the grace exhibited by the contestants in Monty Python’s fabled “Upper Class Twit of the Year” competition sketch. Whether it was imposing a gag order on the students who brought the allegations, ignoring their complaints, or quietly cashiering the accused, which includes staff, an assistant Episcopal chaplain and other students, or simply acting as if nothing occurred and the victims didn’t exist, St. Groper’s leaders obviously felt that they were above such trivialities as the law, and hoped the public would believe, as they pretend to, “we are above doing such things.”

Putting the cherry on top of this elitist arrogance was that the person chosen by St. Groper’s to conduct their investigation into the initial charges just happened to be the totally unbiased and conflict-free (honk!) law partner of the school’s attorney. That move didn’t even pass the laugh test. It was a blatant designed-to-cover-our-ass move that would have made even notorious kangaroo court king NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell blush. Fortunately, but weeks late and dollars short, St. Groper’s has agreed to an independent investigation, albeit after having been publicly derided and having their backs pushed to the wall.

Phillipe and Jorge admire the bravery of the men and women who were victims of this abuse and are now coming forward demanding that St. Groper’s face the music. Not surprisingly, their courageous stance has resulted in even more former students citing they, too, suffered sexual abuse, and the hush-up of the molestation is gradually collapsing on itself.

If St. Groper’s is indeed committed to promoting honor, dignity and class, as they claim, the entire board of trustees and the current headmaster, obviously aware of the scandal and loathe to blow the whistle on themselves, should resign. And as for the headmaster, P&J would like to see him spend part of his retirement in a very nice Big House in Cranston.

Ethics? We Don’t Need No Stinking Ethics!

While the local chattering heads and political pundits respond to the upcoming session of the general assembly by frothing on about tolls, jobs and the economy (hey, didn’t the environment once matter in a world long ago and far away?), the number one item on its priority list should be putting a referendum on the November ballot calling for teeth to be returned to the de-fanged state ethics commission through a constitutional amendment.

Phillipe and Jorge don’t know what is worse: having a blatantly corrupt state government or having legislators give you the finger before they bend you over. It is bad enough that the preponderance of uncontested races for house and senate seats makes about one-third of the legislature accountable to no one. But since a RI Supreme Court ruling in 2009 essentially told legislators that conflict of interest on Smith Hill was as mythical as the mafia, our august elected officials answer to no one except those in the political leadership. And those less-than-exemplary champions of improving the well-being of themselves and their friends at the troughs of power and greed could give a rat’s ass if it is obvious, because the silence of the lambs in their flock makes it all possible.

So don’t be distracted by the pontificating and blathering over toll roads, development incentives and all the same putrid air emitted from Halitosis Hall. Instead, make sure that renewed ethics enforcement is number one on the list of every politician  still able to totter around on his or her hind legs. All the rewards will follow, with less of the stain of outright corruption on the final products produced. Gosh, imagine that!

Terrible Swift Sword

Phillipe and Jorge are not huge fans of Taylor Swift, but we have a new appreciation of her after reading in The Urinal of a remark she recently made about a contretemps in Watch Hill, where she has a seaside mansion.

When a local restaurant owner in the snooty community installed solar panels on its roof, the Watch Hill Fire District appealed to the local zoning board to have them taken down because they disturbed the precious view of the area from the street. As the always astute Urinal columnist Ed Fitzpatrick reported, Swift heard about it and said, “Never in my ‘Wildest Dreams’ would I expect solar panels to create ‘Bad Blood’ with a fire district unless they broke into flames. I mean, who’s the fire chief down there — Martha Stewart?”

P&J don’t know the fire chief’s real name, but we are fairly sure that he’ll be answering to ‘Martha’ for the rest of his career.  Nice work, Taylor.

Kudos and Congrats

… to the Bud-I, former mayor and current talk radio host, Buddy “Vincent A.” Cianci. Soon after the new year, it was revealed that Buddy is engaged to be married to Tara Marie Haywood (he asked her to marry him on Christmas Eve). May they have a happy and successful union.

… to Casa Diablo regular Kate Nagle, the news editor for the online news organ, GoLocalProv. She broke the Danny Amendola carport story (with all its attendant intrigue and East Side silliness). That Kate got the original story was well known, except by the Associated Press who neglected to give her attribution — standard courtesy in the news bidness.

Move Over, Soccer Moms

Since American journalists are quick to appropriate any British-ism that they are too thick and clueless to come up with on their own, P&J alert you in advance to an expression that will doubtless make it into our media lingo as the presidential campaign slogs along. Instead of catering to the political tastes of the numbingly cited “soccer moms,” look for White House hopefuls needing to sway to their cause the “white van man.” While white vans are unfortunately associated with child abductions or international espionage kidnappings, as well as the plumbers, contractors and other working class heroes who drive them — and we aren’t quite sure if the term refers to the color of their skin or the van — P&J suggest you will hear it often in the very near future as a critical target audience for politicians.

Remember, you heard it here first (after we lifted it from the Limeys).

RIP, Guido Panzini

The actor Pat Harrington, Jr. passed away last week at 86. While most will remember him as the cocky handyman Dwayne Schneider on “One Day at a Time,” Phillipe & Jorge (old guys that we are) were first introduced to Mr. Harrington as “Guido Panzini,” one of Steve Allen’s Men on the Street on the old Steve Allen show in the 1950s (also the launching pad for Tom Poston, Louis Nye and Don Knotts). Guido also would pop up regularly on Jack Paar’s show.

Pat was pretty good and pretty versatile and did a mean Lawrence Welk impersonation (“wunnerful, wunnerful”). He will be missed.

2 responses to “Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Lack of Ethics Abound”

  1. Gregg Burke says:

    Every organism, and therefore every organiation, is genetically committed to preservation and promulgation. Put that as the dedication to the St. George's Mission Statement…

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